Sunday 25 May 2014

#71 Sit back and turn up the volume

It was the second bank holiday weekend in May. I lay on a futon, that I had dragged out into the garden, to soak up some of the sun that had appeared, boldly, for that one day in the week and as I lay there, I reflected on the variance in my moods of late and the sense of wellbeing that I had come across at times. I could remember very little about the first few days of the week, except that I was profoundly happy. So unusual was it to find this level of happiness, let alone an unbroken three day run of it that I sought to question it.

My understanding of sources of happiness was limited. My parents, by nature it seemed were both happy people and I knew that a certain amount of a person's emotional palette was genetically determined. Tony Robbins, the American self-help guru would explain that happiness could be achieved through progress towards ones goals and contribution by helping others. The likes of OSHO, an Indian mystic, would argue that happiness didn't need to come from anything and that it was in our nature to be happy. In fact, he would say, if a person tries to achieve happiness, they will usually miss out on it, unless they find it in the pursuit of that achievement but even then it will evaporate when the goal is reached. Happiness is not an achievement, it's about realising that things are fine as they are.

My own experience of happiness was that it had come simply from an absence of problems. Work was going ok, health was ok, parents and sister were ok. In truth I had never really had any problems in my easy life but I tended to commit the sin of creating plenty in my own mind, even when they didn't really exist. Perhaps my brain felt like having a break for once and just letting itself be happy. The sunshine was certainly helping. 

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